Trivitron Healthcare in association with NeoGen Labs hosted the 2017 Newborn Screening Symposium on October 30, 2017 in Bangalore. Newborn Screening (NBS) is a test performed on babies, normally 24 to 72 hours after birth, to identify “Inborn Errors of Metabolism”, or IEMs, and to treat them if they are identified for before they are adversely impacted. Trivitron has introduced state of the art technology in India to support NBS to improve neonatal care and ensure babies start their life healthy.
The symposium was organized by National Neonatology Forum (NNF), Karnataka Chapter, and was supported by Trivitron Healthcare, NeoGen Labs, Danone India and Rainbow Children’s Hospital, in a collective effort, to increase awareness of the benefits of NBS in the medical community to improve the lives of babies born in India.
IEMs if detected early, and treated immediately, can lead to normal healthy babies who grow into productive adults contributing to society. These disorders move fast and if left untreated, they can result in development delays, mental retardation, physical handicaps and even death. Technology available from Trivitron Healthcare, today, can detect these disorders in a baby as soon as the second day of life and presents a window of opportunity to address them before any harm can be done.
NBS is a public health program in many countries and is as important as routine vaccinations. It should be done routinely on every baby that is born in India. It helps in reducing the Infant Mortality Rates (IMR). Nearly 100 medical professionals took part in the symposium held at Grand Magrath Hotel, Bangalore.
Dr. G S K Velu, Chairman & Managing Director, Trivitron Healthcare, stated “It is very important to make Newborn Screening mandatory in India. While this is an essential neonatal service that is mandated in the developed world, India lags far behind in it, resulting in serious health disorders affecting our society and economy.”
Mr. Thomas Mookken, Founder & CEO, NeoGen Labs said “NeoGen believes that NBS saves lives. It is also very critical for a lab to do a screening test right since a baby’s life depends on it. At NeoGen Labs, we continuously invest in people, process and technology to create a screening test result we can stand behind and a physician can trust. After all, every baby is precious!”
Dr. Madhavi Marathe, Senior Manager (Nutrition and R&D), Danone India emphasised that “Children with IEMs require special diets without which the prognosis of the disease is very poor and these children often die. These specialised diets are now available in India for 15 IEM conditions through a special initiative ‘Diet4life’ launched by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Danone India is one of the partners in this initiative and has already made these diets available in India”
Dr. Rajath Athreya, Lead Consultant Neonatologist, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Marathalli, said “Healthcare has the dilemma of matching resources to public health initiatives. Although individually rare, as a group the disorders that can be screened for in an apparently healthy newborn aren’t that uncommon. Newborn Screening will become an important tool to ensure lifelong health of coming generations. Screening and then, diligently, managing cases has to go hand in hand. Today’s symposium addressed challenges in setting up screening programs and managing these medical conditions. Medical experts and families with children with IEM shared their expertise and experiences.”